Colombo: There is a sharp decline in employment in manufacturing and services sectors in Sri Lanka amid a severe economic crisis, with companies and businesses struggling to remain afloat as soaring inflation and demand destructive policies have hit them hard.
Retirements and resignations in large numbers have also contributed to loss of employment, the Daily Mirror quoted the survey by the Central Bank as saying.
The manufacturing and services sectors are already seeing widespread layoffs, non-renewal of employment contracts and hiring freezes as businesses downsize their operations. the economic crisis is on course to trim the country’s output by at least 8 per cent by the end of this year, the survey found.
While certain leading export-oriented manufacturing sectors such as textiles and garments were still holding up, others, especially the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, were struggling, the Mirror reported.
The construction sector is reeling from the sudden stoppage of government-sponsored projects and the import controls, rendering hundreds of thousands of people without work.
In the services sector, there is also a freeze in recruitment and non-renewal of existing employment contracts amid subdued business activities.
The most recent data showed that 208,000 people left Sri Lanka for foreign employment in the first eight months of the year, the daily said.
While Sri Lanka recorded an official jobless rate of 4.3 per cent by the end of the March quarter, easing from 5.1 per cent in 2021, unemployment could pick up sharply in the remainder of the year as the economy is projected to shrink at least 8 per cent in 2022.